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Antoine Berthou, John Jong-Hyun Chung, Kalina Manova, and Charlotte Sandoz
We examine the gains from globalization in the presence of firm heterogeneity and potential resource misallocation. We show theoretically that without distortions, bilateral and export liberalizations increase aggregate welfare and productivity, while import liberalization has ambiguous effects. Resource misallocation can either amplify, dampen or reverse the gains from trade. Using model-consistent measures and unique new data on 14 European countries and 20 industries in 1998-2011, we empirically establish that exogenous shocks to export demand and import competition both generate large aggregate productivity gains. Guided by theory, we provide evidence consistent with these effects operating through reallocations across firms in the presence of distortions: (i) Both export and import expansion increase average firm productivity, but the former also shifts activity towards more productive firms, while the latter acts in reverse; (ii) Both export and import exposure raise the productivity threshold for survival, but this cut-off is not a sufficient statistic for aggregate productivity; (iii) Efficient institutions, factor and product markets amplify the gains from import competition but dampen those from export access.
Fabio Cortes and Luca Sanfilippo
Emerging economies in the post-crisis period increasingly saw portfolio debt inflows from a type of large international investment fund: Multi-Sector Bond Funds (MSBFs). These investors have lacked adequate representation in the literature. This paper constructs a new detailed database from micro-level MSBF emerging market (EM) holdings from 2009:Q4–2018:Q2. Exploiting this data, the paper assesses the risks they pose to the financial stability of specific emerging bond markets. The data shows that MSBFs are highly concentrated–both in their positions and their decision-making. The empirical results further suggest that MSBFs exhibit opportunistic behavior (and more so than other investment funds). In periods of high risk aversion, large MSBF portfolio reallocations out of EMs can be associated with underperformance of the same markets, signaling the importance of monitoring their footprint and better understanding their asset allocation decisions.
Ms. Froukelien Wendt, Peter Katz, and Alice Zanza
The key objective of this note is to support authorities in their decision making about the optimal organization of central securities depositories (CSDs) in their country. For the purpose of this note, a CSD is defined as an entity that provides securities accounts, a securities settlement system, and central safekeeping services to market participants, which can be banks and other financial institutions. Authorities in developing markets, in particular central banks, may grapple with two questions: (1) whether to pursue a single CSD to increase market efficiencies and benefit from economies of scale and scope and (2) whether to partake in the governance of the CSD as owner or operator. This note presents seven considerations for authorities to take into account when answering these questions and determining the best model for their country.
International Monetary Fund
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
International Monetary Fund
This paper asks 1) whether reliance on Eurobond financing over the medium term is consistent with sound debt management policy and 2) whether Macedonia can reasonably expect Eurobond borrowing costs to fall in the future. The main conclusions are that Eurobond financing appears justified in the near term but over a longer horizon, the country should seek to develop domestic debt markets as a complementary funding source. For 2011–12, the government plans to fully finance its fiscal deficits though Eurobond issues.
Mr. Romain Ranciere, Aaron Tornell, and Mr. Athanasios Vamvakidis
This paper constructs a new measure of currency mismatch in the banking sector that controls for bank lending to unhedged borrowers. This measure explicitly takes into account the indirect exchange rate risk that banks undertake when they lend to borrowers that will not be able to repay in the event of a sharp depreciation. Such systemic risk taking is not captured by indicators that are based only on banks’ balance sheet data. The new measure is constructed for 10 emerging European economies and for a broader sample that includes 19 additional emerging economies, for the period 1998 - 2008. Comparisons with previous currency mismatch measures that do not adjust for unhedged foreign currency borrowing illustrate the advantages of the new approach. In particular, the new measure flagged the indirect currency mismatch vulnerabilities that were building up in a number of emerging economies before the recent global crisis. Measuring currency mismatch more accurately can help country authorities in their efforts to address vulnerabilities at the right time, avoiding hurting growth prospects.
International Monetary Fund
With global financial turmoil increasingly spilling over into Serbia, the authorities have requested a 15-month Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), which they intend to treat as precautionary. The authorities’ program aims at safeguarding macroeconomic and financial stability, in view of the global financial turmoil. The authorities’ SBA-supported program responds to the abrupt deterioration in global financial sentiments. Safeguarding macroeconomic and financial stability are the primary objectives of the program, and the authorities recognize that policies will need to be strengthened across the board.
Ms. Deniz O Igan and Ms. Natalia T. Tamirisa
This paper examines the behavior of bank soundness indicators during episodes of brisk loan growth, using bank-level data for central and eastern Europe and controlling for the feedback effect of credit growth on bank soundness. No evidence is found that rapid loan expansion has weakened banks during the last decade, but over time weaker banks seem to have started to expand at least as fast as, and in some markets faster than, stronger banks. These findings suggest that during credit booms supervisors need to carefully monitor the soundness of rapidly expanding banks and stand ready to take action to limit the expansion of weak banks.
International Monetary Fund
This Technical Note presents a targeted review and a follow-up on the implementation of the recommendations of the 2002 assessment of Lithuania’s compliance with the Basel Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision. It was found that banking supervision arrangements in Lithuania were of a high standard and either fully or largely complied with the Core Principles. On one Core Principle, Lithuania was judged to be noncompliant at that time, which concerned the lack of explicit legal protection for Bank of Lithuania board members and supervisory staff.